Provide sustainable funding to ABA 24 hour helpline. 97% of women commence breastfeeding after the birth of a child but only 18% of babies are receiving any breast milk by twelve months of age. Australian families need support to breastfeed and the 24 hour helpline needs certainty for future planning and viability.
Why is this important?
This morning Senator Nash the Assistant Federal Health Minister announced the ABA Helpline would be funded for another year. To keep staff and for planning the helpline needs certainty.
In 2007 the Parliamentary Inquiry recommended that the 24 hour helpline which is used by thousands of women each year be funded. Women from the city and rural areas can telephone a trained counselor for the cost of a local call. Many women leave hospital, often early before breastfeeding is established and require support. Volunteer, trained ABA counselors answer calls twenty-four seven and are a cost effective resource replied upon by health facilities. Every mother on discharge from hospital receives the infant blue book with the ABA helpline number on the cover.
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